Roast Turkey

I have only cooked a few turkeys in a life.  Recently I tried a new recipe, and it failed me.  So, I went back to tradition and made a roast turkey the way I have forever.  What is that saying?  If you have a great recipe, don’t change it?  So is the case with this turkey.

Roast Turkey

I feel, and this is a strong opinion that the type of turkey you use makes the meal.  I guess you could say I am what I eat, and I prefer to be a bit on the natural side.  I opt for an all natural and sustainable turkey that has been fed a vegetarian diet and has not been pumped up with growth enhancers or hormones.  Can you taste the difference?  Definitely!  The bird is juicy, flavorful and takes like the wild instead of a cardboard box.

I use what is called a dry brine when preparing my turkey.  It is a mixture of kosher salt and fresh herbs and no liquid.  I really use whatever I have on hand or what will go with the theme of the dinner;  this time around I used rosemary.  I love the taste and aroma of fresh rosemary, lemon, onions and poultry filling the house.  Smells like comfort.   I simply give my turkey a rub-down the night before, and then let it hang out in the refrigerator overnight with no cover.  This dries out the skin a bit which in turn helps lock the moisture in.

Now, I am the queen of the best gravy in our house, and have been making it since I could stand at the counter and whisk.  Over the years, it has improved and been improvised but still it is outstanding, and everyone asks me to make it.  What is my secret?  I add lots of stock and wine to the bottom on the roasting pan along with a handful of fresh herbs.  And sometimes a little lemon zest for fun.  As the bird roasts and releases it’s natural juices it mingles with the stock mixture and creates heaven.

Basting … toss out that mangy basting ball that you use but once a year.  You know the one collecting dust bunnies and bacteria in the back of a kitchen drawer.  Use your basting brush and wipe those juices from the pan all over the turkey.  And do this often.  Not only will the turkey be golden brown but it will be extra moist and flavorful.

Stuffing?  I don’t stuff my birds.  Why?  It dries them out, that delicious stuffing sucks up all of the juices and dries out the bird.  Instead, I bake it in a baking dish and serve it alongside the turkey.  If you are inclined to have a stuffed turkey, go ahead.  That is a choice I will leave up to you.

There you have it.  Not fancy.  Not deep fried or brined for days.  Just a simple, old-fashioned  home cooked turkey, that has been a crowd pleaser for years.

Looking for fun and exciting sides?  We are thrilled to share our first eCookbook with never before published Chez Us recipes!  All recipes will go great with this turkey!






  1. Not gonna lie…when I see a roast turkey as beautiful as this one, it makes me consider going back to eating meat. Looks darn good!

  2. That is one gorgeous bird. I’ve had one recipe I’ve stuck to the last couple of years… I’m contemplating trying something different this year. This could be it!

  3. I’ve tried cooking a turkey breast side down before but couldn’t find a recipe that gave such good details and timetables. The first one I cooked that way was years ago and I remember it was juicy but I’m very glad to have a recipe with the complete directions. I’ll be cooking a fresh turkey just like that this year! And yes, Fresh is best!

  4. I love roast turkey :) thanks for sharing this recipe, will definitely have to give it a try!

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